The 10 best educational podcasts for students

Written by Kerstin Lakits, Jan 06, 2022

In the past few years, everybody talked about or rather heard about podcasts. There is an easy explanation for their popularity. You can listen to what interests you anytime and maybe also learn something new or laugh aloud. The podcast boom’s consequence is that there is a ton of podcasts. If you’re wondering which podcasts are the best ones, then you’ve come to the right place because we have gathered 10 podcasts that students have to listen to. Here are our 10 best educational podcasts for students:

Besser Leben / How to Be a Better Human

The Austrian newspaper Der STANDARD addresses in its podcast “Besser Leben” different topics that improve your daily life by merging science and self-help. For example, the two hosts explain what stoicism or a burnout is and how much coffee is healthy. The topics have a wide range and are interesting and perfect to improve your everyday life. The episodes can be taken seriously because they interview experts for every topic. There are many episodes and a new episode comes out every Thursday. The episodes are between 20 and 40 minutes long, which is perfect for going to university or on a walk.

If you prefer an English podcast, try “How To Be a Better Human”, a podcast about life and how to improve your daily life based on scientific finds. The episodes are around 30 minutes long.

Ted Talks Daily

Ted Talks Daily are introducing the worldwide known Ted Talks to the podcast world. In the beginning,  the talks came from the yearly innovation conference in Monterey, California. In the English episodes, the host Elise Hu brings you the most important points of famous Ted Talks as well as interviews with the orators. The topics are different and one more interesting than the next. Sustainability and climate, mental health, astrophysics, pandemics, feminism, health, work life and much more. It would be too much here to name all the topics. Therefore, take a look at the hundreds of episodes, which are between 5 and 20 minutes. Perfect pieces of knowledge!

Erklär mir die Welt / Making Sense with Sam Harris

In Erklär mir die Welt, Andreas Sator explains the world to you in German language. Economy, environment, democracy, EU, social media, religion, nutrition, biology and any other topic you can think of. There is a giant selection of interesting episodes containing explanations of important phenomena and topics in our world. The episodes are between 30 and 40 minutes long and will improve your common knowledge.

For a thematically similar blog in English, check out “Making Sense with Sam Harris”. There are more than 200 episodes about the most interesting and varied topics. The episodes are between 30 and 50 minutes long.

Geschichten aus der Geschichte / The Rest is History

The German and Austrian cooperation-podcast “Geschichten aus der Geschichte” is for historians and history buffs. For six years, the historians Daniel Meßner and Richard Hammer have been releasing new episodes every week. That’s over 300 episodes! In each episode, they tell you about historical events, connections or important personalities. What makes this podcast so interesting is that only one of the historians is prepared and the other one has to improvise. The episodes are between 45 and 60 minutes long. Very entertaining and interesting!

The English podcast “The Rest is History” also uncovers interesting events and facts from our history. The episodes are also about an hour long.

Schneller Schlau – Der kurze Wissenspodcast von P.M. / Science Weekly

The editorial staff of the German media publisher P.M. Wissen cover in their podcast “Schneller Schlau“ different topics in nature, science, society, politics and history, and that quick and easy. Can boats sail quicker than the wind blows? That’s just a little example of the interesting questions they pose. Most episodes are around 10 minutes long, being perfect little chunks of knowledge to improve your common knowledge.

The Guardian’s podcast “Science Weekly” is a perfect English alternative and covers interesting facts and topics in 20-minute-long episodes.

Philosophize This!

Big philosophers have shaped the way we think and our society for centuries and that’s why there is a special podcast about this. Philosophize This! presents important philosophers and their interesting, important and influential ideas in chronological order. Therefore, we recommend that you start with episode one, so that you start from the beginning. The Podcast is in English and the episode are around 30 minutes long.

Hör-Saal: 15 Minuten Forschung / New Scientist Weekly

The  Austrian podcast “Hör-Saal” of the University of Graz was born during the first COVID lockdown in 2020, when everybody was trapped at home. What started as a little Corona project, is now an interesting educational podcast. The 15-minute-long episodes explain scientific topics in a conversational style. What is cultural sociology? How creative is football? Why are millennials depressed? Be excited for the researchers’ answers!

The English podcast “New Scientist Weekly” will keep you updated about newest scientific research in 20 to 30-minute-long episodes.

ZEIT Wissen – Woher weißt du das? / Every Little Thing

If you want to impress others with cool facts and knowledge, then you should listen to the German podcast ZEIT WISSEN. Interesting questions and phenomena are scientifically yet entertainingly explained. You’ll find everything that you’ve maybe always wanted to know, for example the google maps syndrome, textile recycling and cosmos for dummies. Most episodes are about 30 minutes long and new ones published every month.

As an English alternative, we recommend “Every Little Thing”. This podcast also answers niche topics and interesting phenomena. The episodes are between 20 and 30 minutes long.

Eine Stunde History – Deutschlandfunk Nova / “Short History of…”

Who doesn’t learn from history, is destined to repeat it. Our knowledge of history often needs some improvement, which this German podcast about history about important events and interesting facts from our history provides. Everything you need to know about history goes directly into your ear. Despite the title, the episodes are only between 40 and 50 minutes long and a new episode is released every Friday.

If you prefer an English podcast, try “Short History of…”. This podcast covers interesting events and important personalities in approximately 50 minutes per episode.

Stuff you should know

Sometimes you ask yourself: “Shouldn’t I know that?”. Then the “Stuff you should knowpodcast is perfect for you. With each episode, you will improve your common knowledge and learn something new. There are longer episodes (~1 hour) for especially interesting topics and shorter episodes (~10 min) for small knowledge units. Perfect for continually learning!

Where can I listen to podcasts?

There are different podcast platforms where you can find and listen to your new favourite podcast.

  • Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) is one of the biggest podcast platforms. The App is preinstalled on all Apple devices, which means you can get started right away. If you love a podcast, you can subscribe, but you can also just stream single episodes of a podcast. A great feature is that you can regulate the playback speed. The sole disadvantage is that only Apple clients can use this platform.
  • Spotify is a music streaming app that also has a big variety of podcasts. The basic version of Spotify is free and compatible with all operating systems (Apple, Android, etc.). There is also a premium version with many extras, but with the basic version you can also listen to and download podcasts.
  • Google Podcasts is also available for Android and Apple and free. You can easily download and install the app on your phone or computer and start listening. This platform also has a big variety of podcasts.
  • Stitcher is another podcast platform and app that is available in the App Store and Play Store. Stitcher is a collaboration of a few podcast platforms and has a big variety of podcasts to offer. The app is free, but there is also the option to upgrade your account to premium.
  • Audible is primarily known for its audio books, but it also has a lot of podcasts in store. There are also a lot of audible originals that are exclusive to Audible. The Amazon platform requires a paid subscription, but you can test it for 3 months for free.
  • Podimo is another paid podcast platform that offers podcasts and audio books. You can either install the app on your phone or use the web app on your computer. There is a 2 week trial if you want to check it out.

With this list of the best educational podcasts for students, you are well equipped to grab your headphones and get started. Whether you’re on your way to university or work or listen to podcasts while walking or running, you will be amazed with these facts.

If you want to add books to this auditory information intake, we have 10 book recommendations for students!


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